An RCOG International Representative Committee is a collective body of College members in a particular country or region that represents Fellows and Members in that country or region.
We have International Representative Committees in the following regions:
Aims of the International Representative Committees
The International Representative Committees aim to:
- Help foster a sense of belonging to the specialty and to the RCOG locally
- Bring together the collective advice of Fellows and Members (members) for the benefit and furtherance of the specialty of O&G
- Act as the liaison between members in that country/region and the College by seeking their views and ensuring that the Committee represents members’ professional and clinical interests
- Undertake tasks on the College’s behalf so long as they are in the interest of the specialty of O&G; Committees may have the task of resolving difficulties arising between individuals or groups of members where particular knowledge of national circumstances is essential
- Work alongside RCOG Liaison Groups, where they exist, or encourage their establishment
- Encourage and support postgraduate training and postgraduate education in the specialty in that country/region, and development and adoption of best practice guidelines
- Aid and support recruitment to the specialty
- Select candidates for postgraduate training opportunities in the British Isles
- Contribute to and facilitate the conduct of College exams when necessary
- Work in partnership with the RCOG Global Health Unit to strengthen health systems and develop better coordinated structures and standards to improve women’s health services
- Maintain at all times the best possible relationship with local national societies, other colleges and institutions, universities, government etc.
- Promote the RCOG Global Health Unit’s advocacy agenda concerning women’s health by working with local governments and civil societies
The RCOG’s Global Health Board encourages autonomy and individuality; each Representative Committee should decide on the type of committee appropriate to their country/region. To ensure some consistency in the development of the committee structure and to facilitate essential communication, the following guidelines are recommended:
- The committee should be elected to represent Fellows and Members (members) from all geographical areas within the country/region. Committee members should be in active clinical practice and their principal appointment should be in that country or region. The number of elected committee members should be in rough proportion to the number of members within that country/region, aiming to keep the committee size between 6 and 10 people.
- The elected members of the Committee should nominate, from the College membership who are resident within the country or region, a Chair and a Secretary. Such individuals shall not hold office for more than 5 years.
- Committee representation should aim for a balance and try to include someone with responsibility for the following activities:
- Postgraduate education and training for trainees (this should include the organisation of RCOG franchised courses and opportunities for videoconferencing meetings held at the RCOG in London, and encouraging trainees to subscribe to the Trainees’ Register)
- Development of continuing medical education and professional development programmes for members
- MRCOG exams (if appropriate)
- Regular communications to all members in the country/region
- Keeping the dedicated area of the RCOG website up to date
- The Committees should meet at least 3 times a year. Minutes of the meetings should be taken by the Secretary and forwarded to the Secretary of the Global Health Board at the College within 2 weeks of the meeting. Attendance at meetings may be in person or via teleconference.
- The Committee should conduct its business in a manner determined by the majority view of the Committee and decisions will be taken where necessary by the majority of votes, the Chair to have a casting vote.
- The Committee shall have powers to co-opt any person with particular expertise pertinent to the Committee’s agenda (whether a Fellow/Member or not) to attend meetings. Co-opted members will not have any voting rights.
- An Annual General Meeting of all members in the country/region should be held where it is suggested that the Committee elections may be held. The results of these elections must be reported to the Secretary of the Global Health Board at the College. Alternatively, the Committee will have the option of asking the RCOG Global Health Unit to conduct elections on their behalf using the single transferable vote system.
- The term of office for each member will be 5 years. Upon completion of 5 years, a member will not be eligible for re-election for a minimum period of 1 year.
- Individuals moving away from a country/region must resign their position on the Representative Committee.
- The Chair is responsible for producing an annual report of work achieved and key objectives for the year ahead. This should be published on the RCOG website and circulated to members in country/region and to the Secretary of the Global Health Board.
- The Secretary is responsible for obtaining and maintaining a list of eligible Fellows and Members on an annual basis from the RCOG Global Health Unit, always working within the UK Data Protection Act regulations.
- Council Fellows elected to international positions (CFEIP) will be allocated responsibility for a geographical region. This individual will be responsible for attending at least one of the Representative Committee meetings in their region during their 3-year term of office. They will represent the views of the Representative Committees at Global Health Board meetings. The CFEIP will be responsible for communicating with all Fellows and Members in their geographical region, keeping them informed of important Council decisions by distributing the Council précis and inviting feedback.
- The Chair of the Representative Committee and the relevant CFEIP should regularly communicate with each other.
- The RCOG will allocate a sum of money on an annual basis to assist the local committee with administrative expenses. All such claims should be supported by receipts before payment will be authorised.
- The Chair will make best efforts to attend an annual meeting of Representative Committee Chairs and RCOG Officers convened by the RCOG Global health Unit, to coincide with RCOG World Congresses.
The RCOG have produced a handbook providing guidance and support for IRCs and LGs, whilst setting clearer expectations.
For more information please go to the IRC/LG handbook page.
Newly established International Representative Committees
For newly established Representative Committees, the members elected to the Committee shall enter a draw to identify which member should retire after 3 years and which member should retire after 4 years. The remainder shall serve a full 5-year period, thereby ensuring continuity and future rotation of the Committee.
If you have any questions, or want more information, please email the Global Health team.